From Tapas to Paella: A Spanish Feast at Philadelphias Best Restaurant

Laura Williams

Updated on:

Photo by Carlos Perales on Unsplash

Philadelphia is a city that is known for its diverse food scene, and Spanish cuisine is no exception. With its rich flavors and unique ingredients, Spanish cuisine has become increasingly popular in Philadelphia. From tapas to paella, Spanish restaurants in Philadelphia offer a wide range of dishes that are sure to satisfy any food lover’s cravings.


Spanish cuisine is part of the larger Mediterranean cuisine, which includes other popular cuisines such as Italian and Greek. While all three cuisines share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. Italian cuisine is known for its pasta dishes and use of tomatoes, while Greek cuisine often features lamb and feta cheese. Spanish cuisine, on the other hand, is known for its use of saffron, paprika, and seafood.


If you’re looking to try Spanish cuisine in Philadelphia, you’re in luck. The city has a variety of Spanish restaurants that offer everything from traditional tapas to modern twists on classic dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty paella or some small plates to share with friends, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds. So, get ready to indulge in some delicious Spanish cuisine and experience the flavors of the Mediterranean right here in Philadelphia.

Amada

Amada -<a href="https://www.amadarestaurant.com/">Photo Source</a>
Amada –Photo Source

217-219 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
215-398-6968
Amada Menu

Amada in City Center East is a Spanish gem that offers a unique and fun dining experience. The menu is filled with delicious tapas that are perfect for sharing with friends or loved ones. The hanger steak and saffron rice bowl with lamb meatballs are must-tries, and the crab stuffed peppers and ensalada verde are highly recommended by the staff. The chef’s menu for two is a great way to experience a wider selection of the menu, and the Bloody Mary is nice and spicy. The atmosphere is wonderful, and the service is amazing.

The staff is knowledgeable, polite, and attentive, making sure that every guest has a great dining experience. Even if you didn’t care for a particular dish, like the cheesecake or the peppers, the overall experience is still great, and you would definitely come back to try their regular menu. Amada is perfect for a date night or a girls night out, and you can’t go wrong with their several course tapas dinner or the chief’s tasting menu. Don’t miss out on this outstanding restaurant that will take your taste buds on an epic voyage.

Mixto

Mixto - <a href="https://mixtorestaurante.com/">Photo Source</a>
Mixto – Photo Source

1141 Pine St, Philadelphia
215-592-0363
Mixto Menu

Mixto in City Center East is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Latin cuisine. The servers are kind and hospitable, making you feel right at home. The mussels in white sauce are a must-try, with a creamy and delicious sauce that will leave you wanting more. The rib-eye and lamb chops are both great options for entrees, but the risotto steals the show with its perfectly cooked, cheesy goodness. The plantains are cooked to perfection and the hot sauce is made in-house and packed with flavor.

The drinks are also a highlight, with the coconut mojito and passion fruit mojo being standouts. The ambiance is lovely, with great music and a warm atmosphere. The staff even sang happy birthday to a reviewer and gave them a free dessert! While it may be on the pricey side, it’s definitely worth the visit for excellent Latin cuisine.

Barcelona Wine Bar

Barcelona Wine Bar - <a href="https://barcelonawinebar.com/location/philadelphia/">Photo Source</a>
Barcelona Wine Bar – Photo Source

1709 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia
215-515-7900
Barcelona Wine Bar Menu

Barcelona Wine Bar is a must-visit restaurant for anyone who loves Spanish cuisine. The tapas design is perfect for sharing and allows you to try a variety of dishes. The paella is a standout dish, crispy and warm with perfectly cooked rice. The cheese in honey is also a must-try, so good that you might order another one. The dessert is unique and special, a perfect way to end your meal. The wine menu is extensive and exploratory, with so many excellent options to choose from.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, making you feel right at home. Even when the restaurant is busy, the staff is fast and courteous, always attentive to your needs. The baked chicken is a standout dish, the best you’ll ever have. The manager, Malcolm, and the server, Cherish, are excellent examples of customer service, making you feel welcome and appreciated. The only downside is that you need to make a reservation to get a table, but it’s worth it. Overall, Barcelona Wine Bar is a fantastic restaurant that you must visit.

South Philly Barbacoa

South Philly Barbacoa - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chefmtz/posts/pfbid0sz1qam85Bgk775f7s75d6apjNnsEYvWs7gg4oMo8o3yVsR4sciu4Rwq1x36hNHM7l">Photo Source</a>
South Philly Barbacoa – Photo Source

1140 S 9th St, Philadelphia
215-360-5282

South Philly Barbacoa is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant offers a simple menu with a handful of items, but each dish is made with the utmost care and attention to detail. The lamb tacos are a standout dish, with both types being incredibly delicious. The barbacoa tacos are also a must-try, with fresh and finely made tortillas that are handmade using organic, non-GMO corn grown in Lancaster, PA.

The consomé is another standout dish, with a light and aromatic flavor that hits all the right spots. While some reviewers noted that the consomé was a bit too salty, it’s still a must-try dish that’s perfect for warming up on a cold day.

One thing to note is that the restaurant is cash-only, but they do accept Venmo as a payment option. So, you don’t have to worry about finding an ATM before you visit.

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While parking can be tough in the area, it’s worth the effort to get to South Philly Barbacoa. The staff is wonderful, and the restaurant’s dedication to being inclusive is evident in their decision to make all meat halal since 2019. Whether you’re Muslim or not, the food here is fantastic, and you won’t be disappointed. So, if you’re in the area, make sure to stop by early to avoid the long lines and try some of the best Mexican cuisine on the East Coast.

Oloroso

Oloroso - <a href="https://www.olorosophl.com/">Photo Source</a>
Oloroso – Photo Source

1121 Walnut St, Philadelphia
267-324-3014
Oloroso Menu

Oloroso is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for an exceptional dining experience. The Chef’s Table is a definite highlight, with Chef Peabody sharing his knowledge and expertise on each dish, making every plate taste even more delicious. The small plates are also a hit, with the paella being a standout dish. The drinks are on par with the food, with the Reverend being a must-try for whiskey lovers. The staff is accommodating and friendly, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. While there may be some negative reviews, the restaurant’s consistency and overall quality of food make it worth the visit. The Charcutería y Queso and Grilled Octopus are highly recommended dishes that are sure to impress. Overall, Oloroso is a fantastic restaurant that should not be missed.

Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria

Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/losgallosphilly/posts/pfbid037rZjEbMb3qJFBGkaUiAHUADX1jomdCnR5GdUffP5LkVY91AdJsBZY4j7znipNAwjl">Photo Source</a>
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria – Photo Source

951 Wolf St, Philadelphia
215-551-1245
Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria Menu

Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria is a must-visit for anyone who loves authentic Mexican cuisine. The Birria Tacos are a standout dish that you simply cannot miss. The seafood dish is also highly recommended by one of the reviewers. The restaurant has a cozy and authentic atmosphere that will transport you to Mexico. The chips and salsa are a great way to start your meal, and the horchata is a must-try. The staff is friendly and attentive, making your dining experience even more enjoyable. While some dishes may not be the best in Philly, the overall quality of the food is impressive. The portions are generous, making it a great value for your money. Whether you’re dining in, taking out, or having it delivered, Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria is a great choice for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Tierra Colombiana

Tierra Colombiana - <a href="https://tierracolombianarestaurant.com/">Photo Source</a>
Tierra Colombiana – Photo Source

4535 N 5th St, Philadelphia
215-324-6086
Tierra Colombiana Menu

Tierra Colombiana is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for authentic Latin food. The flavorful dishes are a treat for the taste buds and the atmosphere is inviting. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The restaurant offers a modern atmosphere with a full bar, making it a great spot for a night out. The menu is listed in both English and Spanish, making it easy for everyone to order. The pork chops are a must-try, according to one reviewer, and the margaritas are excellent. The staff wears masks, ensuring a safe dining experience. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, the staff will make you feel welcome and help you navigate the menu. Overall, Tierra Colombiana is a great spot for a delicious meal and a fun night out.

Mole Poblano

Mole Poblano - <a href="http://ordermolepoblano.com/">Photo Source</a>
Mole Poblano – Photo Source

1144 S 9th St, Philadelphia
215-465-1616
Mole Poblano Menu

Mole Poblano I recently visited Mole Poblano in Independence Hall and I must say, it was an amazing experience. The food was outstanding, especially the guacamole, chips, and queso fundido. The coffee was also a standout. But the real star of the show was the torta – it was huge and absolutely delicious. The service was top-notch, thanks to Pedro and his daughter Yesenia. It’s clear that this is a family-run business and they put a lot of love and effort into what they do. The cozy atmosphere made me feel right at home. I highly recommend Mole Poblano to anyone looking for delicious Mexican food and excellent service. Don’t miss out on the flan – it’s really good too!

Cantina Los Caballitos

Cantina Los Caballitos - <a href="https://www.cantinaloscaballitos.com/happy-hour">Photo Source</a>
Cantina Los Caballitos – Photo Source

1651 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
215-755-3550
Cantina Los Caballitos Menu

Cantina Los Caballitos in Bella Vista / Queen Village is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a fun and lively atmosphere with delicious food and drinks. The outside seating is perfect for a warm evening, and the heat lamps make it comfortable even on cooler nights. The plantains and chips with salsa are a must-try, and the Beef Quesabirria and Modelo Froze are highly recommended. The beef birria taco is hands down the best, and the guacamole is perfect for sharing with friends. While the music can be loud, it adds to the energetic vibe of the restaurant. Although some reviewers had negative experiences, the restaurant’s overall quality and atmosphere make it a great spot for a night out with friends or a casual dinner. Don’t miss out on this gem in Bella Vista / Queen Village!

Cantina Dos Segundos

Cantina Dos Segundos - <a href="https://www.cantinadossegundos.com/">Photo Source</a>
Cantina Dos Segundos – Photo Source

931 N 2nd St Frnt, Philadelphia
215-629-0500
Cantina Dos Segundos Menu

Cantina Dos Segundos is a must-visit Mexican restaurant in Philly! The restaurant has a cool vibe and friendly wait staff that make you feel right at home. The menu is packed with delicious options that will leave you wanting more. The vegan empanadas, quesabirria tacos, seitan wings, fajitas, wet burrito, nachos, crab taco, and chimichanga are all must-tries. The elote is also a standout dish that is perfectly grilled and seasoned. The drinks are also fantastic, with a great range of margarita flavors and a fantastic Michelada. The restaurant is also accommodating to dietary restrictions, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available. The decor is subtle and authentic, and the music is spot on.

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The outdoor dining area is also a great spot to enjoy your meal. While the prices may be a bit higher than other places in the area, the amount of food and taste definitely make up for the cost. The only downside is that the restaurant can get busy, but the fast and friendly service makes up for it. Overall, Cantina Dos Segundos is a fantastic spot for a date night, a big group of people, or just a casual meal.

Vista Peru

Vista Peru - <a href="https://vistaperuphilly.com/">Photo Source</a>
Vista Peru – Photo Source

20 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
215-398-5046
Vista Peru Menu

Vista Peru is a must-visit restaurant in Independence Hall for anyone who loves seafood and Peruvian cuisine. The restaurant has a great atmosphere and the servers are very friendly and attentive. The portions are generous and the food is absolutely delicious. The seafood options are particularly noteworthy, with the ceviche de Vista peru being a standout dish. The quinoa salad is also a must-try, even for those who are not typically fans of quinoa. Vegetarian options are available and the restaurant is kid-friendly, with options like chicken fingers and yuca frita con salsa a la Huancaina.

The flan is a must-have for dessert, as it is creamy and flavorful. While some negative reviews mention small portions and overpriced dishes, we found the prices to be reasonable for the quality of the food. The only downsides are the lack of parking and dim lighting in the restaurant. Overall, we highly recommend Vista Peru for anyone looking for a delicious and unique dining experience in Independence Hall.

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor - <a href="https://www.puyeroflavor.com/">Photo Source</a>
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor – Photo Source

524 S 4th St, Philadelphia
267-928-4584
Puyero Venezuelan Flavor Menu

Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a must-visit restaurant in Independence Hall. The colorful walls and tables create a vibrant atmosphere that will brighten your day. The food is fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. The menu offers a variety of Venezuelan street food, including tequenos, patacon pisao with pork, cachapas todera with shredded chicken, and pabellon arepas. The tequenos are a must-try, as they are light and crispy, and come with a flavorful sauce. The cachapas are also a crowd favorite, and the patacon is a must-have. The staff is friendly and provides excellent service, making your dining experience even more enjoyable.

While there were a few negative reviews, the restaurant has taken steps to improve their service. They have addressed mistakes and have even included free desserts to make up for any errors. The restaurant is also accommodating to dietary restrictions, making it a great option for gluten-free individuals.

Overall, Puyero Venezuelan Flavor is a gem in Independence Hall. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, and the atmosphere is lively. It’s a great spot to try something new and indulge in some authentic Venezuelan street food.

Jezabel’s

Jezabel's - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/jezabels.phl/photos/pb.100063649689660.-2207520000./5996741500354164/?type=3">Photo Source</a>
Jezabel’s – Photo Source

206 S 45th St # 208, Philadelphia
215-554-7380
Jezabel’s Menu

Jezabel’s is a must-visit restaurant in Philly! The empanadas are a standout dish, with options like spicy beef, spicy chicken, onion, leeks, and cheese. The cafe owner, Jezabel, is warm and inviting, and her passion for food is evident in every bite. The menu also includes seasonal options like chorizo and lentil soup and quiche, which are both delicious. The cafe has a great vibe, and the staff is super friendly and knowledgeable.

While the prices may be a bit high for some, the quality of the food and the ambience make it worth it. And don’t forget to try the specials that periodically appear, like Spanish omelettes and quince tarts. While there have been some negative reviews, it’s important to note that the staff is always friendly and willing to make things right. Overall, Jezabel’s is a gem in Philly and definitely worth a visit!

Sancho Pistolas

Sancho Pistolas - <a href="https://www.pistolaslife.com/">Photo Source</a>
Sancho Pistolas – Photo Source

19 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia
267-324-3530
Sancho Pistolas Menu

Sancho Pistolas in Fishtown is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a great dining experience. The customer service is top-notch, and the food is absolutely amazing. The hibiscus margarita is a must-try, and the plantains, shrimp, and salmon tacos are to die for. The sweet corn with sauce and cheese is also a must-try. The restaurant has a great atmosphere, both indoors and outdoors. Even though one reviewer had a negative experience, it’s important to note that it’s not reflective of the restaurant as a whole. The majority of the reviews are positive, and the negative review seems like an outlier. Overall, Sancho Pistolas is a great restaurant that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a great dining experience.

Stateside

Stateside - <a href="https://statesidephiladelphia.com/">Photo Source</a>
Stateside – Photo Source

1536 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
215-551-2500
Stateside Menu

Stateside is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a delicious meal and exceptional service. The Steakhouse Burger is a standout dish that is sure to leave you speechless. It’s perfectly seasoned and tastes like a ribeye in burger form. The bourbon that comes with the burger is the perfect complement. The staff is fantastic and goes above and beyond to make sure you have a great experience. Even if you’re just passing through, it’s worth the $20 Uber ride from Atlantic (PHL) to try the phenomenal food and great layover cocktails.

While there was one negative review, it’s important to note that it was an isolated incident and doesn’t reflect the overall experience at Stateside. The restaurant takes customer service seriously and strives to make every guest feel welcome. It’s unfortunate that the reviewer had a negative experience, but it’s important to remember that one bad experience doesn’t define a restaurant. Overall, Stateside is a fantastic restaurant that is definitely worth a visit.

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Taco Riendo

Taco Riendo - <a href="https://tacoriendorestaurant.com/">Photo Source</a>
Taco Riendo – Photo Source

1301 N 5th St, Philadelphia
215-235-2294
Taco Riendo Menu

Taco Riendo is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes for the adventurous, but also has options for those who prefer to keep it simple. The al pastor and choriqueso are both solid choices, with flavorful and tender pork and a nice balance of toppings. The sopes are also a must-try, although the portion size may be smaller than expected. Despite this, the quality of the sopes is top-notch. The chile relleno platter, chorizo sopes, and tinga burrito are all highly recommended by regulars.

The service is quick and the food is always on point. Vegetarian options are available, including bean and cheese burritos and tacos. The only downside is that the restaurant is cash-only and closed on Sundays. Overall, Taco Riendo is a great spot for anyone looking for traditional Mexican food in Northern Liberties/Olde Kensington.

Cafe Ynez

Cafe Ynez - <a href="https://cafeynez.com/">Photo Source</a>
Cafe Ynez – Photo Source

2025 Washington Ave, Philadelphia
215-278-7579
Cafe Ynez Menu

Cafe Ynez is a fantastic restaurant that offers a wide variety of delicious dishes. The steak burrito is a must-try, with its flavorful meat and perfectly spicy salsa. The carnitas nachos, steak tacos, and tinga torta with fries are also highly recommended. The restaurant is also very accommodating to dietary restrictions, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available. The staff is incredibly helpful and attentive, making for a great dining experience. While there was one negative review, it seems like an outlier, and we believe that Cafe Ynez is still a neighborhood gem that is definitely worth a visit.

Los Camaradas

Los Camaradas - <a href="https://loscamaradas.com/">Photo Source</a>
Los Camaradas – Photo Source

918 S 22nd St, Philadelphia
215-309-3727
Los Camaradas Menu

Los Camaradas is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking for a delicious meal in a cozy atmosphere. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes that are sure to satisfy any craving. The nachos are a standout dish that is not to be missed. They are the perfect combination of crispy chips, melted cheese, and flavorful toppings.

While there were some negative comments in one of the reviews, it’s important to note that the restaurant has a lot to offer. The burnt brussel sprouts on the tacos may have been a fluke, and the server’s mistake with the pitchers was likely an honest mistake. It’s clear that the reviewer enjoyed the nachos and would return for them, which is a testament to the quality of the food.

On the other hand, the second review was glowing with praise for the restaurant. The Tres Leeche French Toast and Fish Tacos were both standout dishes that were enjoyed thoroughly. The fact that the restaurant offers brunch until 3pm is a huge plus, and the dark atmosphere with good music only adds to the overall experience.

Overall, Los Camaradas is a great restaurant that offers a variety of delicious dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for brunch or dinner, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the nachos or the Fish Tacos, which are both highly recommended.

Conclusion

Having explored the diverse Spanish and Latin cuisine scene in Philadelphia, I highly recommend Amada for a unique and enjoyable dining experience. The restaurant’s menu is filled with delicious tapas that are perfect for sharing, allowing you to sample a variety of flavors. The hanger steak and saffron rice bowl with lamb meatballs are must-tries, and the crab stuffed peppers and ensalada verde come highly recommended. The atmosphere is wonderful, and the service is exceptional. The staff is knowledgeable, polite, and attentive, ensuring that every guest has a great dining experience. Whether you’re planning a date night or a girls’ night out, Amada is the perfect spot to indulge in Spanish cuisine and embark on a flavorful culinary adventure.

Philadelphia’s Spanish and Latin cuisine scene offers a wide range of options for food enthusiasts to explore and enjoy. From tapas to paella, the city’s Spanish restaurants provide a diverse array of dishes that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving traditional Spanish flavors or looking for modern twists on classic dishes, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your culinary desires.

Restaurants like Amada, Mixto, Barcelona Wine Bar, South Philly Barbacoa, and Oloroso offer unique dining experiences, showcasing the best of Spanish and Latin cuisine. These establishments provide excellent service, flavorful dishes, and inviting atmospheres that create memorable dining experiences.

For those seeking authentic Mexican flavors, Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria, Cantina Los Caballitos, Cantina Dos Segundos, and Taco Riendo offer a variety of mouthwatering options that showcase the rich culinary traditions of Mexico. These restaurants excel in delivering delicious Mexican dishes and providing warm and friendly service.

Additionally, Vista Peru, Puyero Venezuelan Flavor, Jezabel’s, Sancho Pistolas, Stateside, Cafe Ynez, Los Camaradas, and Tierra Colombiana contribute to Philadelphia’s diverse food scene, offering unique flavors and dining experiences inspired by Peruvian, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Latin American cuisine.

No matter which restaurant you choose to visit, Philadelphia’s Spanish and Latin cuisine scene is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you on a culinary journey filled with rich flavors and cultural experiences.

To delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Philadelphia’s food scene, including its vibrant Spanish offerings, don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Philadelphia’s Diverse Culinary Scene.

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